When I saw my sister's Facebook post announcing this new blogging venture, I could not resist asking if sister #4 could please join in. My story is similar to my sisters'. I also ran cross country in high school, and lessons from the "Big One" have been some of the most valuable lessons in life - endurance, perseverance, stamina... Whether helping me backpack through Spain one spring break for Spanish Club, to get through the agony of one more contraction in labor, or just sticking with something that is important, images from cross country frequently pop into mind accompanied by my coach's voice.
However, much like my cycles in high school of being a runner during the season and then slowly slipping back into irregularity after the season, I have not ran (or exercised) consistently since my senior year of high school. That year my running days were even shorter than the previous three, as I did not even go out for track to run the 3,000 since there was not a cross country season to get ready for. I had never felt as connected to running the laps around the track and to the larger team versus the close-knit cross country group with frequent changes of scenery.
Not so surprising is the fact that my life also mirrors their cycle of getting married, becoming a mom, gaining weight, and not losing it. Though I frequently thought about weight growing up, I would not say that I was overly obsessive about it. As an adult I have not allowed the extra pounds to destroy my self esteem, yet I care about my long term health. The lack of exercise combined with only sticking to nutritious eating in spurts and working countless hours often leaves me drained. All I feel like doing at the end of the day is curling up with a good book.
In the last year, more than I can remember since high school, I have been making a conscious effort to finally committing to making long-term lifestyle changes to eat healthy and exercising on a regular basis. I joined a gym last year and switched to a new one in the summer. Even though I haven't fully "gotten it" yet when it comes to my health goals, rather than throwing in the towel I keep on refocusing and trying to see how I can make it work.
And one of the biggest reasons to keep on trying, rather than saying that I can't possibly fit in the time it takes to plan ahead for healthy food and carve out time to exercise while being a mom, wife, student, and teacher? The support of my sisters, especially with Sally HP becoming a runner again. She inspired me to sign up for a 12K race that she had signed up for the 1st of May. Now I have a goal in mind that provides even more encouragement to stay on track.
My gym is also starting a 12-week fitness challenge next week, and I just had a consultation with a trainer tonight to talk about my goals. It feels like this time it could really be it. With the support of my sisters and programs at my gym, I can finally pull myself away from the books enough to balance out my priorities in order to consistently eat well and exercise.